Slow down to cook it
The Italian slow cooker
Michele Scicolone ; photographs by Alan Richardson.
Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010.
The fresh, exuberant flavors of great Italian food are combined with the easeand comfort of a slow cooker in this mouth-watering, meal-inspiring cookbook.240 pp.
Pillsbury fast slow cooker cookbook : 15 minute prep and your slow cooker does the rest!
[Pillsbury editors].
Hoboken, N.J. : Wiley Pub., c2009.
The "Fast" in Pillsbury Fast Slow Cooker means that all 140 recipes can be prepared in 15 minutes or less (many of them 10 minutes or less). All that′s left is to turn on the slow cooker and let dinner make itself! (Many other slow-cooker cookbooks contain recipes that can take a while to prepare, with added steps for browning ingredients and other techniques--not what you want to do before heading to work!)You may think of the slow cooker as a life-saver for busy weekday meals--and it is--but Pillsbury Fast Slow Cooker lets you put your slow cooker to work for other occasions, too. Make slow-cooker dips and appetizers for your next party and you′ll have the whole day free to focus on other things. The savory, slow-cooked recipes here include roasts perfect for Sunday dinner, savory sandwiches and soups, vegetable side dishes, and plenty of one dish meals, you may never put your slow cooker back in the cabinet. Recipes include Caesar Artichoke Dip, Curry-Mustard-Glazed Meatballs, Hot and Spicy Riblets, Open-Faced Italian Brisket Sandwiches, Chicken Tortilla Soup, Chicken with Creamy Paprika Sauce, Teriyaki Pork Ribs for Two, Cheesy Winter Vegetables Casserole, and Vegetable-Rice Pilaf.
Slow cooking : hearty & delicious meals you can prepare ahead
Linda Johnson Larsen ; photographs by Christopher Brown.
Guilford, Conn. : Knack, 2009.
Featuring 350 full-colour photographs, Knack Slow Cookingpresents 350 easy, delicious recipes and variations youcan prepare in advance, from contemporary flavours toethnic recipes to hearty classics.

Crockpots and slow cookers are a lifesaver for busy cooks. Place ingredients in the cooker and several hours later enjoy the aroma and goodness of a home cooked meal. This way of cooking isnt just convenientit creates tasty meals that everyone enjoys.

Classic Chicken & Rice Dish

1 cup cook rice
10 oz can cream of chicken soup
1 cup chicken broth
4 chicken thighs, partially cooked
10 oz pkg broccoli, frozen

Combine rice, soup, chicken broth, and chicken thighs. Place in slow cooker.

Cover. Cook on low 4 hrs.

During last hour of cooking time stir in broccoli.

More recipes

Slow cooking tenderizes lean meats and sturdy vegetables. It blends spices so that dishes have maximum flavor. Simmering ingredients for long periods at low temperatures brings out the full essence of foods. While not all foods are appropriate for long cooking times, thousands of recipes show that many food and spice combinations are transformed into feasts by slow cooking.   

The crock pot excels at cooking soups, stews, and chilis. Meat and bean main dishes are easy. So are vegetables and many breakfast foods. Some experienced cooks even make breads and desserts in their slow cooker. Most crock pot recipes require a preparation time of 10 30 minutes.

Safety tips

Choose foods with a high moisture content.
Thaw and cut up ingredients into uniform pieces. Using large food pieces could remain in the bacterial "Danger Zone," between 40 - 140 F. 
Prepare a commercially frozen slow cooker meal according to manufacturer's instructions.

Some preparation tips:

  • Follow food safety tips by keeping perishable items in the refrigerator until cooking time
  • Chop vegetables into uniform pieces for even cooking
  • Brown meats in the skillet to add braised flavor and color
  • Boil garbanzo and kidney beans for 10 minutes before placing in crock pot
  • Add pastas and tender items in the last 15 60 minutes of cooking so that they dont overcook

Savory hot meals for the entire family are a challenge to prepare each day. Let your crock pot do the work for you and you can take all of the credit!

More about slow cookery

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff